Strawberries are one of the first fruits to go from garden to table in Spring. There’s so much to love about sweet, juicy berries after a long, cold winter. Enjoy them straight from the plant, on your morning oatmeal, as a simple dessert, or blended into a morning smoothie. And if you can get your hands on some rhubarb, don’t forget to bake a classic strawberry-rhubarb cobbler.
If your strawberry bounty exceeds your immediate needs, consider freezing them to enjoy later. In 3 simple steps you can fill your freezer with glorious berries to enjoy for a whole year. I find that freezing these delicate berries preserves them well but the texture can be soft when thawed. So I use my frozen strawberries for smoothies, baking, and making jam.
The instructions below are for Tray Packing (Unsweetened) Frozen Strawberries. For more ideas on freezing strawberries, try the very informative document from University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources Office or contact your local Cooperative Extension office of the USDA.
Step 1: Rinse the strawberries under cold, running water. Gently pat dry. The strawberries should be dry before freezing them. Remove the stems and leaves.
Step 2: Lay the berries on a parchment-lined baking sheet, not touching. and freeze until hard. The parchment paper makes it easy to lift the berries off the baking sheet and pour into a container. By freezing the berries whole this like, the berries will remain loose in the container. You can use as much as you need and put the remainder back in the freezer. That’s what I like most about this method.
Step 3: Lift up the parchment paper and pour the berries into a freezer-safe container. Don’t forget to label it so you remember what’s in that container and how long it’s been in there.